Missed chances costly for Harps

 

Missed chances, as well as defiant goalkeeping, cost Finn Harps dearly on Saturday night when UCD stole a share of the spoils in a hard-fought battle in Ballybofey.

After an evenly balanced first half, Harps took the lead in the 46th minute when Tom Mohan pounced on a misplaced pass by the UCD goalkeeper Barry Ryan to give Johnny Kenny the opportunity to score from close range.

Ryan made up for his error in the 62nd minute with a fine save when he tipped Paddy McGrenaghan's shot around the post.

The students got back on level terms with their first attack of the second half in the 71st minute. Mick O'Byrne latched onto a mistake by Shane Bradley and crossed to the unmarked Ciaran Kavanagh who headed home.

The goal was justice for UCD who looked to have scored in the 17th minute when a shot by O'Byrne appeared to have crossed the line; but the ball was scrambled away.

The home side, though, still had the best chances of the first half with McHugh and Kenny both denied by Ryan in the opening 12 minutes and the UCD keeper also make an admirable save from a Harkin free kick.

A late rally, too, from Harps failed to yield a winner with McHugh again foiled by Ryan.

Finn Harps: Downey; J Kenny, Minnock, Fitzhenry, Dykes, McGrenaghan, Mohan, Tierney, McHugh, Bradley, Harkin. Subs: R Kenny for Dykes (half-time).

UCD: B Ryan; McLoughlin, D Ryan, McAuley, Delaney, Kavanagh, Martin, McDonnell, O'Byrne, Quinn, Bennis. Subs: O'Donnell for Martin (58 mins), Kilmurray for Quinn (64 mins).

Referee: J Breen (Dublin).